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Veer Ecology

A Companion for Environmental Thinking

2017

Jeffrey Jerome Cohen and Lowell Duckert, Editors
Foreword by Cheryll Glotfelty
Afterword by Nicholas Royle

Veer Ecology

An innovative toolkit designed to prompt new awareness of the risk and potential of living on—and with—an alarmingly dynamic planet

Veer Ecology is a groundbreaking guide for the twenty-first century, with the editors asking thirty brilliant thinkers to each propose one verb that stresses the forceful potential of inquiry, weather, biomes, apprehensions, and desires to swerve and sheer. Each term is accompanied by a concise essay contextualizing its meaning in times of resource depletion, environmental degradation, and global climate change.

The words most commonly associated with the environmental movement—save, recycle, reuse, protect, regulate, restore—describe what we can do to help the environment, but few suggest how we might transform ourselves to better navigate the sudden turns of the late Anthropocene. Which words can help us to veer conceptually along with drastic environmental flux? Jeffrey Jerome Cohen and Lowell Duckert asked thirty brilliant thinkers to each propose one verb that stresses the forceful potential of inquiry, weather, biomes, apprehensions, and desires to swerve and sheer. Each term is accompanied by a concise essay contextualizing its meaning in times of resource depletion, environmental degradation, and global climate change.

Some verbs are closely tied to natural processes: compost, saturate, seep, rain, shade, sediment, vegetate, environ. Many are vaguely unsettling: drown, unmoor, obsolesce, power down, haunt. Others are enigmatic or counterintuitive: curl, globalize, commodify, ape, whirl. And while several verbs pertain to human affect and action—love, represent, behold, wait, try, attune, play, remember, decorate, tend, hope—a primary goal of Veer Ecology is to decenter the human. Indeed, each of the essays speaks to a heightened sense of possibility, awakening our imaginations and inviting us to think the world anew from radically different perspectives. A groundbreaking guide for the twenty-first century, Veer Ecology foregrounds the risks and potentialities of living on—and with—an alarmingly dynamic planet.

Contributors: Stacy Alaimo, U of Texas at Arlington; Joseph Campana, Rice U; Holly Dugan, George Washington U; Lara Farina, West Virginia U; Cheryll Glotfelty, U of Nevada, Reno; Anne F. Harris, DePauw U; Tim Ingold, U of Aberdeen; Serenella Iovino, U of Turin; Stephanie LeMenager, U of Oregon; Scott Maisano, U of Massachusetts, Boston; Tobias Menely, U of California, Davis; Steve Mentz, St. John’s U; J. Allan Mitchell, U of Victoria; Timothy Morton, Rice U; Vin Nardizzi, U of British Columbia; Laura Ogden, Dartmouth College; Serpil Opperman, Hacettepe U, Ankara; Daniel C. Remein, U of Massachusetts, Boston; Margaret Ronda, U of California, Davis; Nicholas Royle, U of Sussex; Catriona Sandilands, York U; Christopher Schaberg, Loyola U; Rebecca R. Scott, U of Missouri; Theresa Shewry, U of California, Santa Barbara; Mick Smith, Queen’s U; Jesse Oak Taylor, U of Washington; Brian Thill, Golden West College; Coll Thrush, U of British Columbia, Vancouver; Cord J. Whitaker, Wellesley College; Julian Yates, U of Delaware.

Veer Ecology

Jeffrey Jerome Cohen is professor of English and director of the Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute at George Washington University. His books include Prismatic Ecology: Ecotheory beyond Green and Stone: An Ecology of the Inhuman, both from Minnesota.

Lowell Duckert is assistant professor of English at West Virginia University. He is coeditor, with Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, of Elemental Ecocriticism: Thinking with Earth, Air, Water, and Fire and author of For All Waters: Finding Ourselves in Early Modern Wetscapes, both from Minnesota.

Veer Ecology

Contents
Foreword
Cheryll Glotfelty
Introduction: Welcome to the Whirled
Jeffrey Jerome Cohen and Lowell Duckert
Vegetate
Catriona Sandilands
Globalize
Jesse Oak Taylor
Commodify
Tobias Menely
Power Down
Joseph Campana
Obsolesce
Margaret Ronda
Decorate
Daniel C. Remein
Remember
Cord Whitaker
Represent
Julian Yates
Compost
Serpil Oppermann
Attune
Timothy Morton
Sediment
Stephanie LeMenager
Environ
Vin Nardizzi
Shade
Brian Thill
Try
Lowell Duckert
Rain
Mick Smith
Drown
Jeffrey Jerome Cohen
Haunt
Coll Thrush
Seep
Steve Mentz
Saturate
Laura Ogden
Behold
Serenella Iovino
Wait
Christopher Schaberg
Play
J. Allan Mitchell
Ape
Holly Dugan and Scott Maisano
Love
Rebecca R. Scott
Tend
Anne F. Harris
Unmoor
Stacy Alaimo
Whirl
Tim Ingold
Curl
Lara Farina
Hope
Teresa Shewry
Afterword: On the Veer
Nicholas Royle
Acknowledgments
Errata
Contributors
Index